I hurry into my government office building, a little late. It took me longer than I thought it would to get the orange juice, because I stood in the slowest clerk's line--I should have realized that her heartbeat was kaaaaattttttkkkkkkkkkkaa and that the only other person in that line was going katakatakat, meaning annoyed at the wait and quickly gone to a more calmer and faster moving line. But separating the heartbeats, determining a probable meaning, and matching them up to the person takes time for me. It is not the automatic nanosecond interpretation everyone else in this dimension relies on. I keep forgetting to pay attention and filter the beats. I have to try harder to make it automatic, as unthought about as breathing. It hasn't happened yet, even though it has been 2 years since I moved into this thrum-filled dimension.
Dr Smits, the neurologist, keeps telling me that I need to use the heartbeat bass thrums to adjust to society and to move around, and I am lucky to have this sense. Much better than going around just sighted, isn't it. Of course it is, without waiting for an answer.
I can't undo this sense, there is no blocking the datastream, the constant battering of other beings against my body. I keep promising to try to use it, to practice, to live within this sense, but I still lapse sometimes into a nostalgic longing for peaceful place without the constant thrumming and reverberations of passers by and echos of old heartbeats. Sometimes I long even for a surcease of my own constant beat.
But this morning I have to hustle because I need to catch Brian, the hydrologic modeller, so we can fix a few glaring errors in our presentation. His hydrograph lines are off a bit and they are not skewed in our favor. Ken, that California lawyer, would just eat this up for breakfast faster than an old dark dog and hold us to these errors. Bad enough to disagree with the State on substantive issues, let's not have a potential problem based on our simple calculation errors.
While I wait for the elevator, I guiltily bask in the relative silence in the empty entrance, where only some trace echos of people remain. It is so rare to be without that constant backdrop of so many levels of kathumpa katatka kabumpbump bumpbumpbump kathump kataakakataaka all at once. I take my secret pleasures in solitude when I can. My own heartbeat slows at these times and is so much easier to handle.